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SHIPPING firm Pan-United Corporation said on Tuesday it would sell its two units, Pan-United Shipping Pte Ltd and P.U. Vision Pte Ltd, for S$29.9 million to its controlling shareholders who are also members of the founding Ng family.
Pan-United Shipping provides shipping services and trading, while P.U. Vision owns 12 tugboats and 10 barges that were valued at S$23.8 million.
"Although striving to be cost-competitive, the tug and barge business has been incurring losses since 2013. The industry has been plagued by low freight rates, softening market demand within South-east Asia, and a severe oversupply in vessel capacity," Pan-United said in a regulatory filing.
"The proposed disposal will enable the shipping division of the group to be 'asset-light' by not owning the tugs and barges, and focus on the provision of logistics, ship chartering and ship agency services."
Pan-United will also be able to focus on two existing core businesses - the concrete and cement business, and the port business - it said.
The purchaser is an investment holding company wholly owned by Jane Kimberly Ng Bee Kiok, Ng Bee Bee and Ng Han Whatt. Ms Ng Bee Bee is the chief executive officer of the company, while Ms Jane Ng is an executive director.
Funds from the cash deal will be used on future projects, and working capital.